TUCSON, Ariz. – Behind career performances from Alyssa Rivera and Carmyn Greenwood, No. 24 Auburn knocked off Colorado State in the opening game of the Tucson Regional Friday night.
Rivera became the third different Auburn player (Kendall Veach, Tannon Snow) to record a 4-for-4 day at the plate as the junior outfielder hit a first-inning, two-run home run then followed with a second-inning double and singles in the fourth and fifth innings. It’s the first time the Eagle Lake, Fla., native has recorded four hits in her career.
Greenwood entered the game in the bottom of the first as a pinch-hitter and singled home Kendall Veach to cap a three-run inning for the Tigers. She also laid down a bunt single in the third inning, then singled through the right side an inning later for her third hit of the game, which tied her career high.
“I was just trying to stay relaxed and within myself and do anything I can to help these pitchers win the game,” Rivera said. “Confidence is always key and we just have to keep fighting and keep chugging along.”
Fighting is what Auburn (38-19) did as Colorado State (38-11) took a 3-0 lead on two home runs after the top of the first. Rivera and Greenwood tied the game in the bottom half of the inning, but the Rams re-took the lead with two runs the following inning.
After Ashlee Swindle (11-8) entered the pitching circle for Chardonnay Harris two batters into the second, the right-handed pitcher kept Colorado State off the scoreboard until she was removed from the game with one out in the fifth inning after being struck by a batted ball.
Harris (S, 1) re-entered the game and allowed only one base runner the rest of the way.
While Swindle was putting up zeros, the Tiger offense was putting up runs as Auburn tied the game at 5 in the bottom of the third when Justus Perry scored on a fielder’s choice before Brittany Maresette scored on a Ram fielding error.
The following inning, Tannon Snow launched a two-run home run to push the Tigers ahead 7-5. Makenna Dowell plated Perry before Maresette scored on a wild pitch to extend the Auburn lead to four runs. Dowell struck again in the bottom of the sixth when she doubled down the right-field line to score Rachel Cook, who pinch ran for Perry, from second base.
Auburn will face top-seeded Arizona on Saturday, May 18th at 5 p.m. CT / 3 p.m. PT.
Chris Allen Brown is a member of the Auburn University athletics staff.